HVAC Technicians and Asbestos Exposure
Common HVAC Products Containing Asbestos
Due to the nature of their work that requires them to be around high-temperature equipment, HVAC mechanics and technicians may encounter numerous asbestos products every day on the job.
During boiler or furnace installation, maintenance and removal, HVAC technicians are frequently exposed to asbestos insulation, cement, gaskets and packing. They also encounter asbestos products when working with accessories such as pumps and valves. Other asbestos materials HVAC workers may encounter include:
- duct connectors
- cooling tower equipment
- flue pipes
- refrigeration equipment
- thermal insulation
- ceiling and floor tiles
- joint compound
- hot water and steam pipes
- asbestos blanket or tape
Hazards for HVAC technicians differ depending on the type of equipment they work with and the location of the equipment itself. HVAC units can be found outside on concrete slabs or rooftops and in garages, attics or other enclosed spaces. These work spaces are often small and confined, which intensifies exposure to toxic asbestos dust that may become airborne when asbestos containing equipment is cut, sanded, broken or disturbed in any way.